Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It's another day for the media to ask questions so of course, it's another day of weather and altitude related questions. At this point, the Dolphins might end up psyching themselves out over it but fortunately, Joe Philbin has everything under control, or at least it seems that way.
“I think it’s as much psychological. We said to the team, ‘Look, whether it is Mountain Time, east coast time, they are not going to change the elevation in the next four days.’ The temperature, one day we thought it was 34 (degrees). You look at it today and it’s supposed to be 40 (degrees). Probably tomorrow, it’s going to be a whole different temperature. I think the mindset is we are going to have to play well regardless of the circumstances."
"The bottom line is we want the mindset to be we are getting on a plane to go play a very good football team. We are going to have to play our best game of the year. That’s really got to be the focus. Once the ball gets kicked off, my experience is most of the time some of those other things, I’m not saying they are not important, but I think what becomes more important is what happens on the field.”
Earl Mitchell said that he's played in Denver before when Tim Tebow was there. Mitchell said that the altitude will impact everyone on the first few series as the altitude will take away their wind but once they come out, they'll be able to adjust to it and figure everything out.
Ryan Tannehill said that he played in Boulder, Colorado in college but doesn't remember the altitude being much of a factor in the game. As far as the cold weather goes, Tannehill echoed Philbin and said they have no control over that.
“I don’t know. I don’t know if it will be snowing or whatnot, but we can’t control that. You just have to go play. At the end of the day, both teams are playing in the same elements. I don’t think there is an advantage one side or the other. You have to be able to handle it and make plays.”
On the other hand, Olivier Vernon says that he has been preparing for this game since OTAs.
“I’ve prepared since OTAs knowing that we were going to be in Denver. I’m not used to the cold weather like that, since I’m from Miami, but it’s all about being tough. You’ve got to play in all types of conditions whether it be four feet of snow, if it’s raining where you can’t even put your cleats into the ground, it’s football. You have to play in all types of weather.”
At the end of the day though, it will all come down to execution and one of the biggest advantages is that the Dolphins will have had ten days off when Sunday comes. Philbin says that this will help them throughout the game on Sunday.
“You hope you’re a little bit fresher physically. You’ve got to be smart with practice. Sometimes, we, as coaches, try to, when we have extra time, we sometimes can’t help ourselves and try to overdo things. We’ve been taking a moderate approach to practice, keeping it very similar to what we would do on a normal seven-day week, so we don’t overdo it with our guys. Again, we had four games and then a bye week, with a trip to London. Then we played six games. When you have that Thursday night football game, in essence, you’ve played three games in 11 days. So I think it helps the body for the players as much as anything else.”
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